Is your rabbit having an ear infection and you are wondering if the ear infection will kill the rabbit?
Ear infection in rabbits is a dangerous infection caused by Pasteurella multocida bacteria and has the capacity to kill a rabbit if left untreated for a long period of time.
In this article, we will let you know if ear infections can kill your rabbit and other issues about rabbits’ ear infections
Can An Ear Infection Kill A Rabbit?
Yes, an ear infection can kill a rabbit if left untreated for an extended period of time.
In rabbits, an ear infection is caused by bacteria that have the capacity to spread from the outer ear tissue to the inner ear thereby causing ear inflammation to the rabbits’ ear and eventually damaging the delicate and important ear structures of the rabbit.
If the ear infection is left untreated for an extended period of time, it can lead to some life-threatening health conditions for the rabbit such as head tilt, loss of balance, seizure, neurological symptoms, etc.
You should consult a veterinary doctor as soon as you notice any sign or symptom of an ear infection in your rabbits.
Can Rabbit Recover From Ear Infection?
Yes, rabbits can fully recover from ear infections if properly and promptly treated by a veterinary doctor.
Ear infections in rabbits are treated with antibiotics, removal of any dirt and discharge from the rabbits’ ears, nutritional support, pain management, and fluid therapy.
How Long Does It Take For A Rabbit’s Ear Infection To Go Away?
The severity of the infection, the age of the rabbit, the type of treatment given to the rabbit, etc. are the factors that determine how long it takes for a rabbit’s ear infection to heal.
With prompt and appropriate treatment, a rabbit’s ear infection can heal within a few days to weeks.
On the other hand, chronic rabbits’ ear infections would likely take several weeks to a few months to fully heal.
What Can You Do For A Rabbit With Ear Infection?
You should take your rabbit to a veterinary doctor as soon as you notice any signs or symptoms of an ear infection.
Take the following measures as soon as you notice that your rabbit has ear infections:
Regularly cleaning your rabbit’s ears in order to remove any debris or discharge would help to keep the ear canal of the rabbit clean and reduce the risk of the infection spreading to other parts of the body.
Administering antibiotics or anti-fungal medications as prescribed by a veterinary doctor would greatly help to cure ear infections.
These antibiotics or anti-fungal medicines can be applied orally topically to the affected area.
Administer the medications to the rabbits according to the prescribed dosage by a veterinary doctor.
If your bunny is exhibiting any sign of pain or discomfort, pain relief medications are always recommended by veterinary doctors to help relieve the rabbit of the pain.
Additional care such as keeping your rabbit’s environment clean and dry, nutritional support, pain management, fluid therapy, reducing stressors that can weaken their immune system, etc. is an effective way of treating a rabbit with an ear infection.
What Antibiotics Treat Ear Infection In Rabbits?
Consult a veterinary doctor to prescribe the best antibiotics for your rabbits’ ear infections.
The age of the rabbit, the weight of the rabbit, the existing health condition of the rabbit, and the severity of the ear infection are some of the factors that would determine the antibiotics that would be best for treating a particular rabbit.
Enrofloxacin, chloramphenicol, and amoxicillin/clavulanic acid are some of the prevalent antibiotics used to treat ear infections in rabbits.
On the other hand, your veterinarian may also prescribe topical antibiotics or antifungal medications to be applied directly into the ear canal.
Below are some frequently asked questions about rabbits’ ear infections:
Can Rabbit Ear Mite Spread To Dogs?
Yes, it is possible for rabbit ear mites to spread to dogs.
Ear mites are highly contagious and can easily spread from one animal to another through direct contact or through contact with contaminated objects such as bedding, grooming tools, or other shared items.
So, if a rabbit with ear mites comes into contact with a dog, chances are that the mites could spread to the dog’s ears.
You should consult a veterinary doctor to properly examine, prescribe or administer appropriate medications to your rabbits as soon as you notice any sign of ear mite infection on your rabbit.
Can Rabbit Ear Mite Spread To Humans?
Yes, rabbit ear mites can spread to humans through direct contact with an infected rabbit.
Rabbits ear mite also known as Psoroptes cuniculi is a very contagious infection that can easily spread from one animal to another and even from a rabbit to a human through direct contact.
The rabbit ear mite leads to a health condition known as mange, which is characterized by skin irritation, severe itching, and redness.
You should take precautionary measures by avoiding close contact with the infected ear of the rabbit and wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as hand gloves, nose mask, washing your hand with disinfectants, etc anytime you want to make contact with an infected rabbit.
On the other hand, Otodectes cynotis is a type of mite that is commonly found in dogs and cats and can also infect humans.
How To Prevent Ear Mites In Rabbits?
Below are some effective ways of preventing ear mites in rabbits:
Ensure to keep your rabbits’ environment clean and free from excess moisture at all times.
Some healthy hygiene practices that help to prevent ear mites in rabbits include regularly cleaning their bedding, litter boxes, etc.
Regularly Inspect Your Rabbits’ Ear
Regularly inspect your rabbits’ ears and watch out for signs of mites, such as redness, inflammation, or discharge.
If you notice any of these signs, take your rabbit to the veterinarian for treatment.
Avoid Sharing Tools With Infected Rabbits
Desist from sharing cages, grooming tools, or other items with other rabbits that may be infected with ear mites.
Rabbits’ are natural herbivores, hence, ensure to always provide your rabbits’ with hay, fresh vegetables, specially formulated pellets for rabbits such as biscuits, Weetabix, etc., and fresh fruit like nectarines.
This balanced diet contains necessary food nutrients that help to boost the rabbits’ immune system.
Use Topical Medication
Administering topical medication that effectively treats ear mites as prescribed by your veterinary doctor is an effective way of preventing ear infections in rabbits.
Some of the topical medications may comprise powders, ear drops, or sprays which are effective in combating ear infections in rabbits.
Ear infections are a contagious disease that has the capacity to kill a rabbit if not treated promptly and adequately.
However, with prompt and adequate medication from a veterinary doctor, an infected rabbit can fully recover from an ear infection.
We hope this article helped you know if ear infections can kill your rabbit and other issues about rabbits and ear infections.
If you have any questions, please comment below and we would answer them.
- Flatt RE, Deyoung DW, Hogle RM. Suppurative otitis media in the rabbit: prevalence, pathology, and microbiology. Lab Anim Sci. 1977 Jun;27(3):343-7. PMID: 875360. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/875360/
- Royal Veterinary College, University of London. Rabbit Ear Disease. https://www.rvc.ac.uk/clinical-connections/rabbit-ear-disease
- Gina Vecere (Long Island Bird and Exotics Veterinary Clinic), Shachar Malka (Long Island Bird and Exotics Veterinary Clinic), Natasha Holden, Shuiquan Tang, Janina A. Krumbeck. Comparison of ear canal microbiome in rabbits with and without otitis externa using next generation DNA sequencing. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1557506322000489
- Molly Varga, Textbook of Rabbit Medicine (Second Edition), https://www.sciencedirect.com/book/9780702049798/textbook-of-rabbit-medicine